Most employment in Massachusetts considered to be "at-will". This means that either the employer or employee can terminate the employment at any given moment, and for any reason. The only basic exception in "at-will" employment arrangements is that the termination may not be done for reasons which violate the law.
It is important that you find out what type of employment your work is classified as, because employment that is not considered to be "at will" is subject to different restrictions. Arrangements for employment that are under a set term contract are not "at will", and may only be terminated according to the clauses contained in the agreement.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Massachusetts?
Regarding terminating a Massachusetts employee, discrimination is the most common illegal reason. An employer may not fire an employee just because they are of a specific race, religion, gender, or nationality. An employer in Barnstable County also cannot fire at-will employees in retaliation for the employee filing a claim for discrimination or initiating an investigation of discrimination against the employer.
Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers may not terminate employees who have taken leave for family reasons or medical treatment. Finally, employers may not fire workers who exercise their legal rights, perform a legal obligation, or refuse to commit an illegal act.
Do I Need a Massachusetts Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Barnstable County, Massachusetts attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in gathering the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.